Chandigarh, September 24, 2017: September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. And Punjab is “GOING GOLD.”
Gold is the color of childhood cancer. The gold ribbon honors children with cancer and their families and pledges support for childhood cancer to be a child health priority.
On September 24rd, the 6th CanKids Car Rally moved into the state of Punjab with the aim of raising awareness en route the rally and advocating to the policy makers that Childhood Cancer should be a Child Health Priority in India.
The rally was flagged of from Sadhopur Toll and moved towards Chandigarh Sector 17, where they were joined by Bikers from the Bullet Cafe and the convoy moved towards Sector 17 market. The rally was welcomed with great Punjabi cultural performances and members of the Bullet Cafe which was accompanied with narebaazi from survivors and rally participants.
The program started with a small speech by Ms. Poonam Bagai where she emphasised how there is no awareness about childhood cancer because of which the survival rates in the country are very low.
Dr. GB Singh (Assistant Director, NPCDCS, Gsaid “Punjab govt signed MOU which should take care to provide free treatment to children with cancer, a programs was already present there but now individual attention will be given to children and free treatment will be given to these children of Punjab. Cankids on their part will check whether the services required by these children are easily accessible to them and try and fill the gaps like accommodation to name some.
She also introduced Mrs. Sonal Sharma (Co-Founder, Director CB & PSG/KCK) and mother of childhood cancer survivor, Muskaan (Osteosarcoma survivor), and Devpriya Mukherjee and shared their journey of fighting the battle with cancer and beyond.
The awareness program also comprised of a Nukkad Natak performed by the Kidscan Konnect Group (Teenage and Young Adult Childhood Cancer Survivor group of CanKids) based on the struggles faced by them during their cancer treatment and the battle ahead. It aimed to empathize the audience towards their hardship and make them understand that how important their support is to help them reintegrate back into the society.
Members of Bullet Cafe were also invited to share some words of encouragement for all the cancer survivors. Ritu Bhalla (Two Time Cancer Survivor & Campaign Manager) and Kapil Chawla (Childhood Cancer Survivor and Head CEPAA, CanKids) also shared their experience of fighting a battle with cancer and winning over it.
The CanKids Car Rally which is Time Speed Distance Car Rally is a part of the Go Gold India campaign and will take place from the 24th to the 28th of September this year, with the proposed route is about 1400 + kms from Delhi-Chandigarh-Bathinda-Amritsar-Ludhiana-Delhi and 60-70 people participating in it. This is the 6th rally for CanKids, previously they have organized rallies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
The rally later moved to their guest houses at Punjab Bhawan and UT and a Go Gold Gala was planned to Celebrate New Partnerships with Punjab Government, health professionals and cancer centers and CSR partners and potential donors from Punjab invited to join the cause. Key CSR and donor partners supporting Change for Childhood Cancer in Punjab include Max India Foundation and Vardhman, Trident Group and Krishna Auto from Punjab and Prime Securities from Mumbai.
Every 3 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer somewhere in the world. Worldwide 300,000 children (age 0-19) are diagnosed with cancer each year. It is guesstimated that India accounts for 60-80000 new cases of childhood cancer each year. (1.5 to 5% of all cancers). While global survival rates for childhood cancers are 70-95% in India 50-70% still die of the disease, primarily due to lack of awareness, stigma, poor information and access to care, inadequate treatment centers, lack of trained health professionals, quality drugs, high costs of treatment and lack of supportive care. Resultingly either children come in advanced stages with metastatic cancers or do not make it to any cancer center at all.
It is estimated that Punjab accounts for 969 to 1543 new cases of childhood cancer each year (0-19 years) as per IIC-3 data from IARC Geneva, depending on IICC3 7 PBCRs of India or IICC 3 - World Average incidence rates. (For 0-14 years of age similar data is 687 and 996 respectively). For union territory Chandigarh the new childhood cancer cases each year are 36 to 58.
CanKids…KidsCan, is a not-for-profit National Society, for children with cancer and their families, dedicated to a Change for Childhood Cancer in India
Presently Cankids is working in 46 cancer centers across the country providing holistic care and support to children with cancer and their families through its YANA – you are not an alone model, providing social support services, Care Centers and social support teams, through its Cankids Hospital Support Units.
It partners with treating cancer centers, national and international organizations and State Governments to build capacities, promote quality care, research and impact and facilitate stakeholder engagement and patient, family and civil society engagement, thereby enabling best standards of treatment, care and support. Through its Go Gold India campaign it advocates for childhood cancer to be a child health priority in India.